Covid-19 news on March 20: The US warned of an increase in infections
US health officials on March 19 warned that the number of Covid-19 infections in the country may increase in the near future.
“The spread of the BA.2 variant of the Omicron strain, combined with reduced immunity from the Covid-19 vaccine, could expose the United States to another outbreak. What we’ve seen in Europe, especially in the UK, is something that really deserves attention. Because there the epidemic situation is showing signs of reversing and the number of infections is increasing,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top US official on infectious diseases told ABC News.
|Dr. Anthony Fauci. Photo: AP|
“Even if our number of cases continues to fall, I wouldn’t be surprised if I see the number of cases increase in the next few weeks,” Fauci added.
ABC News quoted data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), saying that up to 23.1% of recent new infections in the US are BA.2 variants. Some studies have shown that BA.2 is 30-80% more infectious than the original strain, while federal data show that the number of BA.2 infections in the US is increasing every week. pair.
Elsewhere, some health experts say that Americans must learn to be ready to face challenges from future epidemics, when the next phase of the Covid-19 pandemic occurs. “We are still ‘not done’ with this pandemic. Regardless of how the epidemic develops, we need to be ready,” said White House Covid-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha.
The island nation of Samoa is on lockdown because of Covid-19
Authorities in the Pacific island nation of Samoa on March 19 decided to blockade the whole country, after discovering a woman about to leave the country was positive for Covid-19.
“Although it is only a single case, this is the first time that Samoa has detected an infection of unknown source in the community. There is a possibility that a ‘underground’ outbreak has been going on for the past several days, or even weeks,” Samoan officials told ABC News.
Samoan Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa said that the woman had been in many places such as churches, hospitals, shops, libraries, etc. before showing symptoms of fever on March 12. “The woman has been quarantined, and we are tracing where she has been and who she has been in contact with. Officials will do everything they can to contain the epidemic,” Mata’afa said.
According to ABC News, from the night of March 19, all schools in Samoa will have to close; public gatherings will be prohibited; Many types of services have to close, except for shops and supermarkets selling essentials.
“What I am most worried about is that children who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 will get the disease. Vaccination rates for adults are high, but vaccination for children aged 5-11 only started last week,” said Fala, a Samoan resident.
Some other developments on the epidemic
Updated at 5 am on March 20 by the global statistics site Worldometers shows that the Covid-19 epidemic is raging in 220 countries and territories, infecting more than 469.1 million people and claiming lives. of nearly 6.1 million patients. The number of recoveries reached more than 400 million cases.
Chinese authorities on March 19 recorded the first two deaths from Covid-19 in the country since January 2021, and these cases were all in Jilin province. “Both of the above cases are elderly, one of whom has been vaccinated against the epidemic,” Jilin health official Jiao Yahui said.
According to the New York Post, China is facing an epidemic wave caused by the Omicron variant, when health officials in the country since the beginning of this month have recorded about 29,000 new infections. On March 19 alone, the number of infections detected reached 2,157 cases.
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